Optimizing Your Google Places Listing
If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, local search provides the key to remaining visible to an increasingly technological audience. Even people who prefer to buy in a store rather than online will usually do some Internet research before they buy. That means that if your business doesn’t show up when they do a Google search, you may as well not exist. Fortunately for local businesses, Google now places more importance on Google Places listings than they did in the past. If you take the time to optimize Google Places listing information, you can give yourself a boost in the search engine results page that could make all the difference in the success of your business.
Complete Listing Information
This may seem obvious, but the fact is that most Google Places listings haven’t been filled out in their entirety. A complete listing should list not only required information, but also optional details such as a business description, an email address, a business category, and a website. It’s also important to upload pictures and video to flesh out your profile. The goal is to give the customer as much useful information as possible, which in turn increases the weight your listing will be given by Google.
Strategically placed keywords will let Google know what searches correspond most closely with your business offerings. Include keywords in your business description, but resist the urge to “stuff.” Also, don’t place keywords in your business name or category unless they legitimately belong there or your listing could be removed.
Reviews add credibility to your listing by allowing viewers to get an idea of what people who are unconnected with your business really think about you. While it’s taboo to offer incentives for reviews, you can ask for them on your Facebook page, on your website, or in your store. A neat little trick that works well is to have your customers fill out survey once the sale is complete and use that information for reviews. A word of caution, do not “fake” the review and any review you post online must have a hard copy to go with it.
About Your Business
The one thing that Google likes is information about your business. Providing Google with as much information as you can accomplishes two things, first it gives Google the information it is looking for about you business that it can give searchers the information they are looking for. The second thing is that it helps Google determine that your business is real. I know most people don’t this but over the years Google has had to deal with many fake Places Listings. By providing as much information as you can it will help Google verify that your business is real.
Taking the time to optimize Google Places information can set you apart from the crowd of businesses who put in minimal effort. By following these essential tips as you create your listing, you can reap huge results in terms of driving traffic to your website and to your physical store location.